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London Gardens Online


Stationers' Hall Garden City of London


Stationers' Hall Garden is on the site of the former burial ground of St Martin-within-Ludgate. The church, said to have been founded in the C7th, certainly dates from at least the C14th. Before it burnt down in the Great Fire of 1666 the church was situated just outside the City walls adjacent to the Lud Gate. After the Fire the church was rebuilt by Christopher Wren to the west of its earlier site, its west wall incorporating part of the old Roman Wall. Behind the church is the private garden of Stationers' Hall. The Worshipful Company of Stationers was established in 1403 and built the Hall on the present site in 1611. The Hall has an outer courtyard and a secluded inner garden whose current layout dates from the 1930s, shaded by a mature plane tree.

Basic Details

Previous / Other name:
Churchyard of St Martin Ludgate

Site location:
Stationers' Hall Court off Ludgate Hill/Ave Maria Lane

EC4M 7DD ( Google Map)

Type of site:
Private Garden

C17th onwards; 1930s


Listed structures:
LBI and SAM: Stationers' Hall

City of London

Site ownership:
Worshipful Company of Stationers & Newspapers Makers

Site management:
Worshipful Company of Stationers

Open to public?
By appointment only

Opening times:
Visits may be possible by appointment to the Clerk
Took part in Open Garden Squares Weekend in 2018.

Special conditions:

Hall and Garden are available for hire for private events


Public transport:
Tube: St Paul's (Central)

The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/11/2002
Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news.

Further Information

Grid ref:

Size in hectares:

Green Flag:

On EH National Register :

EH grade:

Site on EH Heritage at Risk list:

Registered common or village green on Commons Registration Act 1965:

Protected under London Squares Preservation Act 1931:

Local Authority Data

The information below is taken from the relevant Local Authority's planning legislation, which was correct at the time of research but may have been amended in the interim. Please check with the Local Authority for latest planning information.

On Local List:

In Conservation Area:

Conservation Area name:
St Paul's Cathedral

Tree Preservation Order:

Nature Conservation Area:

Green Belt:

Metropolitan Open Land:

Special Policy Area:
Yes - St Paul's Heights Policy Area

Other LA designation:
Strategic Viewing Corridor

Stationers' Hall Garden

View to Stationers' Hall Garden from Stationers' Hall Court, November 2002. Photo: S Williams

Click photo to enlarge.

Fuller information

Stationers' Hall Garden is on the site of the former burial ground of St Martin-within-Ludgate. Ludgate Hill, which was called Ludgate Street until 1865, was originally a Roman route through the Romans' west cemetery; a tombstone of a Roman soldier of the Second Augustan Legion in tunic and cloak was found near St Martin's, now in the Museum of London. According to Robert of Gloucester, St Martin's church was founded in the C7th by a British prince called Cadwallo or Cadwallader who was allegedly buried here, although this is not certain. In 1322 a Robert de Sancto Albano is recorded as rector and in 1437 land was leased by the Lord Mayor of London to build a steeple so the church may have been rebuilt at that time. Prior to its re-building after the Great Fire of London, St Martin's Church had been situated just outside the City walls adjacent to the former Lud Gate, the west gate to the City, which was erected in 69 BC. It may have been so-named after King Lud, who was also allegedly buried here, or the name may refer to the Flood or Flud that ran into the River Fleet; Ludgate was removed c.1760. After its destruction in the Fire of 1666, Wren rebuilt the present church of St Martin in 1677-86 further to the west of the earlier site and the west wall of the church incorporates part of the old Roman Wall. At that time the church was set further back to allow for widening of the street. St Martin's Ludgate had the least damage of any City church in World War II. Its former churchyard now forms the private garden of the Stationers' Hall.

The Worshipful Company of Stationers was established in 1403 as the guild for manuscript writers and illuminators, the word 'Stationer' deriving from the fact that, formerly itinerant, they began to operate from fixed or stationary stalls in St Paul's Churchyard (q.v.). When the new technique of printing came to England in the late C15th, the guild embraced this and printers played an increasingly important role. It received a Royal Charter in 1557 for printing and registering all books and in 1560 it became a Livery Company. The Company moved to the present site in 1611, having outgrown its third premises at Peter College, a property owned by St Paul's Cathedral. The site of the new Hall was previously that of Abergavenny House, the town house of Lord Abergavenny, which the company had purchased in 1606, itself once the site of an inn in the reign of Edward I. In 1931 the newly founded Company of Newspaper Makers was incorporated in The Stationers' Company and a new Royal Charter was granted to The Worshipful Company of Stationers' and Newspaper Makers in 1937.

The Stationers' Hall is T-shaped in plan and has an inner garden and outer courtyard, the former on the site of Lord Abergavenny's garden. It was reputedly the place where the Master and Warden of the Stationers' Company burnt books that had been seized as heretical. Like St Martin's Church, the Hall also burnt down in the Great Fire of 1666, with the loss of some £40,000 of book stock. It was rebuilt in 1670-4, possibly designed by Robert Wapshott who was the bricklayer, and some of the building of that time survives although much rebuilding has taken place since then. In the C19th members of the Mylne family were responsible for various building works, Robert Mylne designing the east front of the Livery Hall in 1800-01, on the wall of which is a war memorial plaque to members of the Company who died in World War I. At right angles to this, also facing the outer courtyard of Stationers Hall Court, is a wing built by R W Mylne of 1885-7, which replaced an earlier C17th building. A passageway leads off Stationers Hall Court to the secluded inner garden, whose layout dates from the 1930s comprising paved areas and a series of shaped beds planted with shrubs and flowers, all shaded by a mature London plane tree.

Sources consulted:

Simon Bradley & Nikolaus Pevsner, 'The Buildings of England, London 1: The City of London', 1997 (1999 ed.); F E Cleary, 'The Flowering City', The City Press, 1969; George Godwin & John Britton 'The Churches of London: A history and description of the Ecclesiastical Edifices of the Metropolis, Volume II', London, 1839; London Diocesan Advisory Committee for the Care of Churches data; History on Stationers' Company website; St Paul's Cathedral Conservation Area SPD, 2013

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